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Satiation level affects anti-predatory decisions in foraging juvenile crayfish A Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology

Schadegg, Abigail C., Herberholz, Jens
Journal of comparative physiology 2017 v.203 no.3 pp. 223-232
antipredatory behavior, crayfish, decision making, energy, food quality, foraging, freezing, juveniles, satiety, tail
Moving shadows signify imminent threat to foraging juvenile crayfish, and the animals respond with one of two discrete anti-predatory behaviors: They either freeze in place or rapidly flex their tails, which quickly propels them away from the approaching danger signal. Although a freeze might be the more risky choice, it keeps the animal near the expected food reward, while a tail-flip is effective in avoiding the shadow, but puts critical distance between the animal and its next meal. We manipulated the satiation level of juvenile crayfish to determine whether their behavioral choices are affected by internal energy states. When facing the same visual danger signal, animals fed to satiation produced more tail-flips and fewer freezes than unfed animals, indicating that intrinsic physiological conditions shape value-based behavioral decisions. Escape tail-flip latencies, however, were unaffected by satiation level, and an increase in food quality only produced a minor behavioral shift toward more freezing in both fed and unfed animals. Thus, satiation level appears to be the dominant factor in regulating decision making and behavioral choices of crayfish.